If there’s one thing we can count on as the year draws to a close, it’s the inevitable wave of “Best of 2018” lists and “Trends to Watch” in 2019. In the world of foodservice, it’s not hard to find countless predictions about next year’s hottest menu trends — “Cauliflower is the new kale!” — or which types of cuisine will attract the most diners in the months ahead.
At the root of all this speculation is language. The way we talk about food can influence decision-making and drive certain behaviors — but it can also have a significant impact behind the scenes. As particular menu items grow more popular, operators look for ways to incorporate new ingredients and preparation methods into their back-of-house workflow. This evolution has implications for big decisions like equipment purchases — and these trends can even lead the equipment manufacturers themselves to develop new products and capabilities.
Some terms seem to be everywhere in the foodservice world lately: local, sustainable, farm-to-table, organic… the list goes on. Over time, these buzzwords have shaped consumer tastes, transformed menus and altered the restaurant landscape.
If the prognosticators are to be believed, 2019 will feature plenty of meat alternatives, fermented beverages and probiotics. How will the language around these and other emerging trends influence the industry as a whole? Which buzzwords will encourage consumers to be adventurous and try something new?
A year from now, we’ll know more about how language influenced the food world in 2019. But for now, keep your ears open — and don’t talk with your mouth full.
To see how 2018 trends predictions fared, check out this post.